When it comes to serving beers, it is fair to say that the UK has a long way to go. In the past it was perhaps a given that beer was there to be drunk in quantities, the shape or size of glass didn’t matter other than it had to be a pint. This view is still widely held.
We at Ridgeway believe that enjoyment of beer should come from not just the taste but also from the smell and the appearance of the beer. As with food, presentation is important to the overall experience and how the beer is served deserves attention.
Before you start thinking of what glass to use, it’s best to think of what the occasion is. Is food and drink the main focus or is it there as a background to other things going on?
A summer’s BBQ with friends? Drinking directly from the bottle, especially if it’s a 330ml bottle, is perfectly fine. It’s easy and makes the subsequent washing up a non-event. Plus there is no danger of losing your glass again and again…
A dinner party where beer is paired with food in a similar way to food/wine pairing? Or a quiet night in watching a good film/TV? This occasion definitely merits beer being served in glasses…. It’s perfectly OK to use your imagination. We recommend drinking anything stronger than 6% from a stemmed red wine style glass. Others may have other preferences. The stronger the beer, the smaller the glass. And it’s OK to share a bottle between two or three of you. This way you can have fresh, chilled beer at all times.
Would you ever serve yourself a ½ pint of wine in a beaker? Possibly not. Why do this with beer? A 10% Imperial Russian Stout, complementing a desert or a cheese course, should be served in a size of no more than a large wine glass. I personally preferred it served in a stemmed medium size glass of cca 200ml. You’ll enjoy the taste more and your head will thank you in the morning…..
Please let us know on our FB page your favourite ways to serve beer and have it served to you.
As Britain basks in the hottest summer since the late 70’s many people are asking themselves what is the best beer to enjoy. Is a very cold lager really the only option? The answer is no, there are beer styles that are perfect for this time of year, ideal to go with BBQ’s, be it meat, fish or veggie. One such style is Golden Ale.
Conceived in the late 80’s by brewers keen to help the younger generation switch from branded lagers, Golden Ales are light in colour, with a lighter maltiness but still reasonably hoppy. Above all they are meant to be drunk cool, maybe even cold.
When it comes to serving temperatures we get very frustrated that in this day and age we still hear drinkers convincing us that real ales are meant to be drunk ‘warm’. Please do not believe anyone who tries to persuade you of such a thing. There are very few occasions when beers should be served at room temperature and a golden ale in the summer is not one of them. Warm beer? Never!
Whatever your favourite style, cool it in the fridge for couple of hours before drinking. What’s there to lose? Beer is too cold when you take it out of the fridge? No problem – pour it into a glass, wait for 5 minutes and it’s perfect! Beer hazy? No problem – it’s only the proteins showing themselves, they were there all along and don’t affect the taste.
We at Ridgeway go even further and have designed our golden ale Oxfordshire Blue to be drunk properly cold. Straight from the fridge, it remains clear and crisp. Being bottle conditioned it is a real ale – with yeast in the bottle and all the goodness with it. So pop it in an ice bucket at a BBQ for a while (secretly displacing canned lagers if there is no space) and then enjoy. Full of taste and easy drinking. Don’t let your friends know though – they will like it and you may run out!
Can’t enjoy a glass of good beer because of gluten intolerance? No problem, we have a Gluten Free version of Oxfordshire Blue. Go to our ‘where to buy’ page to find your nearest shop.